The role you play
In the event of a disaster, the emergency services – police, fire, ambulance, public works – may be unable to reach you or will be assigned to more urgent tasks, such as controlling fires, evacuating people, clearing roads, etc. For the first 72 hours of an emergency, individuals must be prepared to fend for themselves.
You can help increase your preparedness for an emergency by developing two important things:
- Your emergency plan
- Your emergency kit
Your emergency plan should include information on how you and your family will deal with an emergency that affects you. Designate an out-of-town contact person who will be the gathering point for information on anyone affected by the emergency. You should also make plans for temporary accommodations, such as with a friend or relative who doesn’t live in the immediate vicinity. Ask at your place of work, schools, and daycares to find out what their emergency plans are. For example, if you are affected by an emergency and cannot pick up your children from school, who is authorized to pick them up for you?
Your emergency kit can be purchased or made at home. It should be placed in a location that everyone in the family knows and should contain the essentials needed in the case of an emergency. Your emergency kit should contain:
- a copy of your emergency plan
- candles and waterproof matches
- battery-powered or self-powered flashlight with extra batteries
- self-powered radio
- extra keys and cash
- notebooks and pencils
- first aid kit
- extra medication, prescriptions and/or glasses
- warm clothing and toiletries
- diapers and wipes for babies
- non-perishable food items, including food for babies
- bottled water (at least 1 litre per adult per day)
- blankets or sleeping bags
- a manual can opener and disposable cutlery
- copies of important documents
- reading materials, deck of cards, etc. to keep the family entertained
- anything you need to care for your pets
It is also a good idea to have an emergency kit in your car (including the items above, booster cables, shovel, snow brush, windshield washer fluid, flares, and road salt).
For more information on self-preparedness, emergency plans and emergency kits, please visit www.GetPrepared.ca.